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Manu Dibango.

10 Essential Manu Dibango Songs

A giant has fallen. We pay tribute to Manu Dibango by highlighting some of the best songs from the Cameroonian jazz legend's extensive discography.

Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibangopassed away earlier today at a hospital just outside Paris, France. The 86-year-old musician had been in a state of recovery after having tested positive for the coronavirus.

A giant has fallen.

Dibango, who was born in Douala, Cameroon in 1933, became one of the foremost pioneers of Afro-jazz and was known for his fusion of funk with traditional Cameroonian sounds. His six-decade career saw him performing all over the world and collaborating with the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti and several other music heavyweights.

Following his 1972 hit song "Soul Makossa," Dibango serenaded audiences for years to come with his inimitable mastery of the saxophone. In many ways, Dibango was to Cameroonians (and the world over) what Masekela was to South Africans, what Fela was to Nigerians and what Oliver Mtukudzi was to Zimbabweans: legendary.

And so, while the world now mourns the loss of a legend, amid the uncertainty of an outbreak that continues to steal so much from humanity, we've selected just ten essential songs from Dibango's extensive discography to pay tribute to his indelible contribution to not only jazz, but music as a whole.



"Soul Makossa"

"Soul Makossa" was undoubtedly the career-defining song for Dibango. Released in 1972, the hit song inspired both Michael Jackson and Rihanna to reference the lyrics in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Please Don't Stop the Music" respectively—reportedly without Dibango's permission. Dibango went on to settle a lawsuit with the artists over their use of the track's hook.

"Emma" feat. Salif Keita

"Emma" is an upbeat and vibrant track that sees the meeting of legends. Dibango collaborated with veteran Malian musician Salif Keita to create a bold and vocally-rich classic that has remained a favorite among many fans till today.

"Ah! Freak Sans Fric"

Released in 1979, "Ah! Freak Sans Fric" has an undeniably nostalgic feel to it that transports the listener back to the 70s, a time where many people turned to music as a source of strength and hope especially after the colonial era which, for Cameroon, came to an end in 1972.

Biko feat. Alex Brown, Peter Gabriel, Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Geoffrey Oryema

While rock musician Peter Gabriel originally composed this song, it was Dibango's rendition featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Geoffrey Oryema that was arguably more popular. The track is an anti-Apartheid song, and musical eulogy of sorts, that was inspired by the South African struggle hero, Steven Biko, following his death.

Echos Beti

"Echos Beti" is a quirky number that exemplifies Dibango's seamless fusion of Afro-jazz with elements of funk and traditional sounds with the consistent use of drums making the rhythm of the song infectious.

"Africadelik" 

"Africadelik" leans towards a more classic Afro-jazz feel and while originally released in 1973, certainly has a contemporary feel to it especially in Dibango's 2018 performance at the Jazzwoche Burghausen in Germany.

"Bao Bao"

In "Bao Bao", Dibango manages to achieve an exquisite balance of vocals, traditional sounds including the marimba as well as use of guitar, woodwind instruments and saxophone.

"Ekedi"

Released in 2006, "Ekedi" is a soulful and mellow track with a consistent mid-tempo rhythm that allows Dibango to showcase his mastery of the saxophone—a markedly simple yet powerful number.

"Wilderness"

Dibango ditches the vocals in this purely instrumental track and goes wandering in the wilderness. It's a contemplative piece, as most jazz numbers often are, that manages to do so in a lighthearted manner.

"Ngolowake"

"Ngolowake" makes for easy and enjoyable listening with almost lazy-sounding instrumentals which give the track an overall relaxed feel.

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Kizz Daniel Performs At The FIFA World Cup

Nigeria's Kizz Daniel recently thrilled fans when he performed at the FIFA World Cup.


Renowned Afrobeats singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, also known as Kizz Daniel recentlymade his debut performance at the World Cup to raving fans. The singer performed songs from a selection of some of his well known smash hit records at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is still ongoing.

Some of the songs that he performed included: 'Buga', 'Cough', 'Lie', 'Pour Me Water', 'One Ticket', 'Eh God', 'Good Time' and many others.

The singer performing at the World Cup was somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because earlier in June, he had shared on social media that he wanted to perform at the World Cup this year.

His tweet read: "God I want to perform 'Buga' for World Cup with a mass choir. Help me say amen."

During his performance, he was greeted by over 50,000 fans, who excitedly chimed in as he delivered some of his heavy-hitting songs. The 28-year-old also featured a live-band show during his performance.

Kizz Daniel is one of the many African artists that are leaving their mark on the global music scene. When he released ‘Buga,’ he received massive recognition from the record and it quickly became an anthem in Nigeria. To many, the song was one of the most prominent African songs of the year.

Kizz Daniel's recent performance at the World Cup marks the rise in global popularity that many of his peers are also receiving.

According to Sports Brief, Kizz Daniel's performance was a part of the FIFA Sound, which had at least five international artists in it's lineup who performed on the main stage during the famed sports event. Sports Brief also shared that all of the performances were an extension of FIFA’s entertainment strategy, which is an initiative that is created to establish solid relationships between the world of soccer and music.

Following his performance, a thrilled Kizz Daniel took to social media to show some of the excited reactions that fans had during his performance.

VADO OF AFRICA 🌍 on Instagram: "AS A NAIJA 🇳🇬 BOY I SAY THANK YOU AFRICA 🌍 THANK YOU WORLD 🌎 #fifaworldcup2022 #qatar2022 ‼️"

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Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Wizkid Wins the Inaugural Afrobeats Award at the AMAs

Tems and Wizkid both took home trophies at this year's American Music Awards.


Celebrated Nigerian superstar Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid recently won in the inaugural Favorite Afrobeats Artists category at the 2022 American Music Awards.

The AMAs started its flagship Afrobeats category this year. Other nominees for the award included Burna Boy, CKay, Tems, and Fireboy DML, with Wizkid ultimately taking home the price. Many of the nominated artists had enjoyed massive commercial success in the United States prior to the award show, and the increasing dominance of Afrobeats has made the genre well known in other parts of the world outside of Nigeria.

The "Bad To Me" singer also won the Favorite R&B Song award for the remix to his smash hit "Essence," which featured Tems and Justin Bieber. This was monumental for the night because the song was competing with other hit songs, including Beyonce's "Break My Soul."

Tems also made quite the impression at the award show. In addition to winning an award alongside Wizkkid for the "Essence" remix, she also won in the Favorite Hip Hop Song category for her contribution to Future's "Wait For U," a record that quickly became a fan-favorite with fans for its unique sonic output.

Both Tems and Wizkid have been soaring in their careers following the release of their celebrated song "Essence." Recently, Tems was a co-writer on the Rihanna-led song "Lift Me Up" for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sound track. Last week, Wizkid headlined a show at New York City's renowned music venue Madison Square Garden, a major feat for Afrobeats as a whole.

View the complete list of nominees and winners for the award show here.

Sports

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

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Senegal Becomes First African Team to Win a Game at the World Cup

The Senegalese team beat the host team by a 3-1 score during the Group A match.


Senegal became the first African country to be a winner at the 2022 FIFA World Cup after scoring over the Qatar host team on Friday, November 25.

While this is a big win for Senegal, the defeat means that Qatar is close to being eliminated from the tournament after Ecuador defeated them last Sunday during the opening game.The Senegalese team beat the host team by a 1-3 score during the Group A match at the 2022 World Cup, and this win made them the first African side to win a game in the tournament. The goals came from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng, who all played a part in securing the big win.

The Qatari team seemed self-assured as they quickly secured a goal. Qatar should have had a penalty when Ismaila Sarr bundled over Akram Afif, but the referee Antonio Mateu decided not to grant it.

In a conversation with Aljazeera, Pathe Toure shared the team's strategy for winning the game.

"It was a good performance. We were focused, and the team decided to play well. We didn't let Qatar move the ball or have time on the ball," Toure said. "We have to play the same way or better against Ecuador. It will be like a tournament final. Now it is time to enjoy the win and the performance."

Senegal's win is historic because Africa has not had a lot of success in World Cup games, in the past. The last time an African team had a stake in the quarter-finals was when Ghana reached the last eight in 2010.

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